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Lieutenant John Dachsteder and the Dockstaders of Stone Arabia NY (c. Mid-1700s)
Posted by: Charles Julian (ID *****7539) Date: April 30, 2005 at 12:47:06
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My GGGGG-Grandfather was Frederick DACHSTEDER, a United Empire Loyalist who served as Sergeant in Butler's Rangers and was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on February 19, 1781. He married Elizabeth STEVENS in about 1780, at or around Fort Niagara. His first and only child, Catherine DOCKSTADER, was born January 9, 1781 at Fort Niagara, just before Frederick was killed in battle at Otsego Lake in late October (or possibly November) of 1781. Elizabeth later married William VAN EVERY. Catherine eventually married Captain John DECEW or DECOU of 1812 war fame.

Although searching for Frederick's parents is no easy task, it is made easier by the fact that he was brother to Lieutenant John DACHSTEDER (also known as Captain John DOCKSTADER). John was put in command of the Indian Department during the revolutionary war, and married Captain Joseph BRANT's sister, Christina (or Sarah) Kwangeraghkwa BRANT (b. 1741). John was originally a farmer from the German Flatts / Stone Arabia area of New York, and in May of 1777 he was judged "inimical to the Liberties of America and dangerous to remain in the Country" by rebel authorities, and subsequently imprisoned at Albany. At some point he escaped from prison, and with his brother Frederick (my GGGGG-Grandfather) fled to Montreal, where he was given control of the Indian Department by the British authorities. John gained some degree of fame through his victories at Currytown and Fort Pitt, and when the Revolutionary War came to an end he retired to Six Nations on the Grand River, where he died in about 1804.

Despite John's fame as a loyalist, however, I've seen little investigation of his genealogical line. A few sources have mapped him onto some of the more mainstream DOCKSTADER lines, e.g. some show John and Frederick being born 1760 and 1761 respectively to Magdalena and George DOCKSTADER (son of George Adam DOCKSTADER, son of Georg DACHSTAETTER of Germany). If, however, John had been born in 1760, and the 14th of 15 children, then he could hardly have been an established farmer, let alone a presence worth judging "inimical to the Liberties of America and dangerous to remain in the Country", being a mere 17 years of age. A number of other factors also indicate John must have been older. For example, the other men judged "inimical" to rebel America in the document of May 1777 are:

Donald Cameron
Barnabas Cain
Jacob Merckell (b. 1747)
Henry Merckell Jr. (b. 1740)
Dederick Loucks (b. 1740)
Godfrey Syphert
Hendrick Dillenbach (b. 1741)
Christian Dillenbach Jr. (b. 1744)

And, as the birthdates that I can establish seem to show, these men (among them storekeepers and farmers) were all of a certain age, about 35 to 40, and none were as young as 17. Additionally, John's wife Kwangeraghkwa BRANT was born in 1841, and unless John was born earlier than 1760 this would make her about 20 years his senior. Also, when John was appointed head of the Indian Department in 1777, it is noted that he held sway over the Iroquois league and "spoke many Indian Dialects" a scenario that seems quite unlikely if John were only 17 years old, and even stranger if he were of full European extraction.

All this leads me to believe that John and his brother Frederick were in fact not only born earlier than 1760 (John probably about 1740, like the majority of his 'inimical' contemporaries), but were probably also at least half Iroquoian themselves. This would explain not only John's standing among the league and elders, but also his command of the languages (Iroquoian languages like Mohawk and Cayuga are highly divergent from English, but are close enough to one another that knowledge of one is conducive to fluency in the others).

Which branch of the Dockstader family these brothers may have belonged to is not clear, however. If John was born about 1840, that would make him too young to have been a son of Georg DACHSTAETTER, and at the same time too old to have been his great grandson. We can represent this schematically so the original eight children of Georg and Anne Elisabethe DACHSTAETTER, who immigrated to Upstate New York from Germany in 1709 / 1710, were

1. George Adam DOCKSTADER (b. 1709, m. Anna Catherine STARING)
2. Cornelius DOCKSTADER (b. 1711, married an Oneida woman)
3. Hendrick George DOCKSTADER (b. 1714, m. Anna Catherine VAN ANTWERP)
4. John Frederick DOCKSTADER (b. 1717, m. Anna Elizabeth STARING)
5. George DOCKSTADER (b. 1717, ... ? )
6. John Leonard DOCKSTADER (b. 1718, ... ? )
7. Christian DOCKSTADER (b. 1722, m. Catherine NELLIS)
8. Barbara Elizabeth DOCKSTADER (b. 1724, m. John Peter WAGNER)

[Note here that the names are Anglicized for regularity, so in the original German George is "Georg" or "Jury", John is "Johann", Leonard is "Leonhard", and so forth.]

No John or Frederick born into the known "European" male lines the George Adam, Hendrick Jury, John Frederick, and Christian lines seem to fit the profile of our John and Frederick. And indeed, at least one son from each of these lines appears to be listed in the Tryon County Militias roster, indicating that these lines had allied themselves with the American Separatist cause rather than with the Loyalists. The fifth and seemingly most obvious option, the Cornelius Oneida line, is in fact very unlikely. This is because two sons of Cornelius, both already named John John George (diminutive "Hanyuri") and John Joseph (diminutive "Hanyost") served with the colonial cause, as the Oneida and Tuscarora were strongly allied with the Americans during the Revolution. Thus the Cornelius line, a source of many Iroquois Dockstaders today, seems to be ruled out in the case of John and Frederick.

So there are basically two remaining options. The first is that John and Frederick were sons either of George "Jury" DOCKSTADER (b. 1717) or of John Leonard DOCKSTADER (b. 1718). I can find no records for these two after their apparent births and, provided they actually survived, it is not improbable that one or both of them married native women. George and John Leonard might be discussed in Doris Dockstader Rooney's compendium, but unfortunately I've not been able to get hold of a copy. If anyone can offer information as to the fate of these two sons of Georg, or as to Doris Dockstader's Rooney's remarks on John and Frederick (if there are any), it would be greatly appreciated.

The other option (less likely given John's place of residence) is that John and Frederick are descendants of a different DACHSTAETTER immigrant. I've seen no mention of this, but it is possible that there were more DACHSTAETTER immigrants to the Stone Arabia area than Georg alone.

Finally I should mention that there were more than a few John DOCKSTADERs in the German Flatts / Stone Arabia region by 1777. In addition to our Lieutenant John, there appears also to have been at least the following:

John George DOCKSTADER (b. 1728-1808, son of George Adam Sr, married Maria Magdalena WEAVER)
John George "Hanyuri" DOCKSTADER (b. about 1738, son of Cornelius)
John Joseph "Hanyost" DOCKSTADER (b. after 1738, also a son of Cornelius)
John Nicholas "Hanickel" DOCKSTADER (b. 1746, son of John Frederick Sr, m. Dirkje VANDEWERKEN, served in U.S. Militia)
John Frederick DOCKSTADER (b. 1751-1839, also a son of John Frederick Sr, married Barbara WEAVER, served in U.S. Militia)
John Henry DOCKSTADER (b. 1756-1786, son of Hendrick Jury, married Maria SERVICE or ZERBES, served in U.S. Militia)
John DOCKSTADER (1756-1850, son of ?, married Catherine BELLINGER)
John DOCKSTADER (b. 1759, son of Eva and Abraham, son of George Adam Sr)
John Christian DOCKSTADER (b. 1763, son of Christian, too young to have been Lieutenant DOCKSTADER)

Other early Fredericks that I am aware of are

Frederick F. DOCKSTADER (b. 1743-1826, son of John Frederick Sr, married Catherine WALLRATH, served in U.S. militia)
Frederick Henry DOCKSTADER (b. 1751-1823, son of Hendrick Jury, married Maria ECKER, served in U.S. militia)
Frederick DOCKSTADER (b. 1755, son of George Adam Sr.)

This multiplicity of names often leads to some degree of confusion. For example, John DOCKSTADER (b. 1756) married Catherine BELLINGER, and it is often assumed that this represents the first marriage of Lieutenant John DOCKSTADER. However, records show that this same individual had ten children with Catherine BELLINGER in New York, and died at Herkimer in 1850 (rather than at Six Nations in 1804). These details indicate that this John DOCKSTADER was in fact not the UEL lieutenant.

In light of all this, any information that might clarify the parentage of John and Frederick, by posting or email, would be greatly appreciated.


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